Reggie Bush said his benching during the Miami Dolphins’ 37-3 loss to Tennessee Sunday was warranted.
He fumbled early in the game and was not called on again.
“I didn’t deserve to be back in there,” Bush said. “I’ve had two fumbles lost this year. I have to do a better job of protecting the ball. I’ve been in this league long enough to know protecting the ball is the most important thing as a running back.”
Bush got off to a brilliant start this season, with 50 carries for 302 yards and two touchdowns in the Dolphins’ first three games, and he talked openly about his goal of leading the league in rushing — a goal that seemed attainable, given how well he was playing.
But Bush suffered a knee injury in Week Three against the New York Jets, and although he didn’t miss any games, he hasn’t been the same player since then. To wit: he has 76 carries for just 252 yards in the last six games.
When a running back averaging six yards a carry and 101 yards a game suffers an injury and then drops to 3.3 yards a carry and 42 yards a game, it’s reasonable to think that the injury is the reason. But Bush insists that’s he is healthy.
“No, not at all,” Bush said. “I’m not hurt at all.”
Whatever the reason, Bush’s production has declined and the Dolphins’ offense has suffered because of it, especially Sunday. And that decline in production, along with two lost fumbles in the last three games, has Dolphins coach Joe Philbin phasing Bush out of the offense.
And with the lack of weapons on Miami’s roster, if Bush is not a part of the equation, the notion of explosive plays diminishes exponentially.